Chepos- A review
Like most people living in San Marcos I love two things. Coffee and Mexican food. My Wife and I got the night off last night and decided to eat at the newest restaurant at the doomed corner of Holland and RR12.
Anyone who's been in San Marcos longer than six months has seen at least two establishments come into that location and fail, the latest being Pizza Island, which I'm not sure if they ever opened, but not the point.
When I see the term "Authentic Mexican Food" I get excited. Whether it be Oaxacan (I worked with a woman from Oaxaca, best food ever) or something from the Yucatan, what I don't expect is TexMex and that is exactly what we got.
Covered in cheese with no discernible flavors of Mexico, a more apt titling of TexMex would have better prepared my palate for what I was about to consume. Like walking into a sandwich shop to learn they only serve salads with a side of bread, it's close, but not close enough.
All that being said the food was unoriginal and uninspired. Not terrible, standard TexMex, which is something very difficult to mess up.
Being no real ethnic offering I settled on the Burrito and two breakfast tacos, one sausage and egg, the other chorizo and potato, my wife order the Chicken Tacos.
The burrito was small, grilled on a flat top creating a cross between the Chimichanga and an actual burrito it was covered with cheese and filled with beans and beef. The menu said nothing about covering it in Queso, as someone who is lactose intolerant that proposed it's own unique issues, but that's not for this article. Fortunately for them the queso was excellent.
The beans are not good. Like everything else they are not bad either, they suffer form the same lack of flavor that everything else does and was more akin to eating mushy cardboard than beans as they were entirely flavorless.
My Breakfast tacos were lacking. Not putting enough sausage into a sausage in egg means you have an egg taco, and with their heavy flour tortillas the semblance to an egg sandwich was overbearing. Also using the flat top grill to scramble your eggs means they pick up the flavor of everything around them, which was mainly grease.
The chorizo was burnt and bland, an amazing combination of wrong considering. The potatoes had clearly been reheated after cooking on the flat top and much like the eggs the only real flavor was the oil they were cooked in.
My wife's tacos (yes we sat across from one another and shared) were bland as well. A taco in it's most basic form is a tortilla (hard or crispy) with meat, if you get even one of the elements incorrect you have failed. Mexican food is big on two main chicken preparations, El Carbon (grilling) or poaching in spices, this was the later with no need to apparently incorporate spices, just boiled chicken. They also did a poor job of draining it so chicken water dripped down our arms and covered my wife plate in a off white chicken water.
No to say it was all bad, the chips and salsa were quality, a thin chip with a not overwhelming salsa, the complexity was nice, having several herbal flavors and enough spice to keep me eating without making me regret it. Unfortunately I don't see chips and salsa as a reason to go to a restaurant.
The price was very reasonable between two with the dishes outlined I spent $18, the tea being overpriced, but whose isn't?
To summarize, if you are in the neighborhood and don't have a car, Chepos (pronounced Che-pose) is going to fill you up and let you down, the atmosphere is very nice though and the wait staff is pleasant, but in a town overrun with cafe's and taco places I fear Chepos is headed the way of every other establishment in that location, a distant memory of what is used to be.